13+ characters; Flexible cast. 12 pages in length. Approximately 10-15 minutes running time. A comedy for teens about gossip written by Jonathan Joy.

The News Done Spread is a clever comedy for teens based on Lady Gregory’s 1906 Irish tale Spreading the News. In this hilarious adaptation, teens and gossip lead to chaos in a local shopping mall. When Mopsey, a dejected teenage boy, is left holding a friend’s new sword, he gets more attention than he ever thought possible. While attempting to return the sword to his friend, Yolo, gossip begins to spread that he’s actually going to fight him! The misinformation grows and finally leads to shocking consequences but when Yolo tries to clear things up, there’s pandemonium at the mall! This crazy comedy is perfect for teens and teaches a valuable lesson about spreading fake news!

Jonathan Joy is the author of nine plays and Winner of the 2005 Write Like Mamet award. His work has been performed at the Where Eagles Dare Theatre in New York City, First Stage in Los Angeles, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and numerous venues in Ohio and West Virginia. His writing has been published by the New York Times, One act Play Depot, Smith & Kraus, Brooklyn Publishers & more. Plays include two award winning full length comedies, “American Standard” & “The Princess of Rome, Ohio” and seven one act plays including “Just another Day in November”, which recently premiered at the Clay Center in Charleston, WV and at Marshall University. 

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

COP ONE
COP TOO
CHATTY
OMG
MOPSEY
YOLO
OH NO
FLEEK
B-BALLER
CASS
WHAT
TOPIX
CARLA

* Various additional onlookers, shoppers, mall employees, etc. could be added.

(Lights up on an empty stage, though character references indicate that a shopping center is nearby.  Two characters, COP ONE and COP TOO, enter.)

COP ONE
This is the place.

COP TOO
Looks disgusting. 

COP ONE
Lots of teens on the weekends, but otherwise it’s a pretty quiet little mall. 

COP TOO
Lots of teens, huh?  Well, we’ll have crack down on the riff raff.  Don’t want a bunch of brats running off the high end customers.

COP ONE
They’re really not that bad.  Issues every once in a while, but it’s pretty rare. 

COP TOO
I don’t buy that.  When they hired me to clean up the Haverhill Mall, it was overflowing with teens and their text messaging and such.  I cleaned that place up.  Never had a problem after I arrived.

COP ONE
Didn’t that place close?

(A young man appears, sees the officers and quickly retreats offstage.)

COP TOO
There’s one now.  Just looks suspicious.  I think he’s up to no good. 

COP ONE
What makes you…

COP TOO
Off.  Let’s talk to him.  He smells like smoke.  I can smell it from here and this is a non-smoking facility. 

COP ONE
I don’t know how you think you can smell smoke from…

(COP TOO glares.)
But, you’re the new boss, so…

COP TOO
Follow me.

(They exit as CHATTY and OMG enter.)

CHATTY
Can you believe it?

OMG
No.

CHATTY
And that’s how she talks to her mother.  All the time. 

OMG
O.M.G.

CHATTY
Yeah, I mean, right.  And her mom just takes it.  If that was me and I was back talking my folks like that…I mean, I would be so done.  You?

OMG
O.M.G.  Yes. 

CHATTY
They wouldn’t be bringing me to the mall and giving me cash to get my nails done.  I’d be locked up.  Hey, here comes Mopsey.

OMG
O.M.G.  Not Mopsey.

CHATTY
Look at him.  Why does he look so sad all the time?  Let’s get out of here before he sees us.  I don’t think I can handle…

(MOPSEY enters.)

…getting stuck in a conversation…

OMG
O.M.G.

MOPSEY
Hi.

CHATTY
Hi.  We were just…

MOPSEY
Leaving.  Of course.  It’s my lot in life, I think, to drive people away.  Just my luck.

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